The purchase signals Birrell Group’s ambition to ‘build out our Midlands footprint’ since becoming GRP’s regional hub

GRP’s Midlands hub, Birrell Group – which trades as Kingsway Insurance Services – has bought commercial insurance broker Home Counties Insurance Services (HCIS) in its second deal of the month.

The acquisition, which has received regulatory approval, signals Birrell Group’s ambitions to “build out our Midlands footprint” since it became GRP’s Midlands hub back in January.

The pace of M&A activity is a focus for Birrell Group director James Birrell. He said: “While the lockdown put a temporary halt to deal flow in this part of the UK, we did not stop talking to our targets.

“HCIS is a well-run broker and the team are keen to take it to the next stage of its development, exploiting the benefits of being part of a bigger group.

“We are ambitious to build out our Midlands footprint as GRP’s hub business, so we are actively looking to bring more quality brokerages like HCIS into the fold.”

Earlier this week, Birrell Group confirmed it had bought specialist commercial insurance broker Managed Risk Solutions Ltd (MRSL).

Opportunities ahead

HCIS, based in Ampthill, near Bedford, was founded in 1990. It predominantly writes commercial insurance.

Following the acquisition, all staff will remain with the business and HCIS will also retain its brand.

HCIS managing director Cliff Amos said: “Birrell Group put together a compelling proposition for HCIS and we are excited by the opportunity to further grow the business under their guidance.

“With the power of GRP behind us we will be able to offer our clients a significantly enhanced range of products and services.”

Stephen Ross, head of M&A at GRP, added that more deals are on the cards for GRP this year.

He continued: “We have made [it] clear that the lockdown was a short blip in the steady progress we are making in growing the power and reach of our UK hubs.

“Our latest series of hub acquisitions underscores that our pipeline across the UK remains extremely strong. We expect to announce more deals during Q4 this year.”